Little Women, Mutable Authors: Louisa May Alcott and the Question of Authorship

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/223371
Title:
Little Women, Mutable Authors: Louisa May Alcott and the Question of Authorship
Author:
Daly-Galeano, Heather Marlowe
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release after 27-Apr-2014
Abstract:
This project analyzes the ways that Louis May Alcott portrays authors in several texts, including Hospital Sketches (1863), "Enigmas" (1864), "Psyche's Art" (1868), Little Women (1868), A Modern Mephistopheles (1877), and Diana and Persis (1878). An examination of prevailing contemporary theories of authorship reveals that Alcott's interest in authorship (as shown through her experiences as a writer and the author figures she depicts within her writing) cannot be adequately analyzed under any of the existing theoretical frameworks because the theories neglect to consider markers of racial, sexual, cultural, and class-based difference. Being a female author in nineteenth-century America was, for Alcott, a preoccupation. Thus much of her writing features representations of authors. For Alcott, as well as many of her female contemporaries, the question "What does it mean to be an author?" cannot be considered without also asking, "What does it mean to be a woman?" and "How can an author be represented in a text?" Alcott's treatment of these questions in her writing was her attempt to create a dialogue between herself, other writers, and her reading public. By studying Alcott's author figures, I advance a model of authorship that highlights issues of gender and multiplicity; in this way my work has applications to other authors who have been excluded by normative definitions of authorship. The concept of "mutable authorship," a model that more accurately incorporates Alcott's treatment of authorship, is the product of several different literary, historical, and feminist theoretical lenses. This dissertation works through the different structuring figures that Alcott uses to represent the author, beginning with the semi-autobiographical first-person narrator and moving to the more metaphorical figures of the artist and the performer. The discussion culminates with the exploration of adaptation and collaboration in the three Hollywood feature films of Alcott's best-known work, Little Women, and several recent texts that respond directly to Alcott's work.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
authorship; Louisa May Alcott; mutable; women; English; Alcott; American women
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Temple, Judy Nolte

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleLittle Women, Mutable Authors: Louisa May Alcott and the Question of Authorshipen_US
dc.creatorDaly-Galeano, Heather Marloween_US
dc.contributor.authorDaly-Galeano, Heather Marloween_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseRelease after 27-Apr-2014en_US
dc.description.abstractThis project analyzes the ways that Louis May Alcott portrays authors in several texts, including Hospital Sketches (1863), "Enigmas" (1864), "Psyche's Art" (1868), Little Women (1868), A Modern Mephistopheles (1877), and Diana and Persis (1878). An examination of prevailing contemporary theories of authorship reveals that Alcott's interest in authorship (as shown through her experiences as a writer and the author figures she depicts within her writing) cannot be adequately analyzed under any of the existing theoretical frameworks because the theories neglect to consider markers of racial, sexual, cultural, and class-based difference. Being a female author in nineteenth-century America was, for Alcott, a preoccupation. Thus much of her writing features representations of authors. For Alcott, as well as many of her female contemporaries, the question "What does it mean to be an author?" cannot be considered without also asking, "What does it mean to be a woman?" and "How can an author be represented in a text?" Alcott's treatment of these questions in her writing was her attempt to create a dialogue between herself, other writers, and her reading public. By studying Alcott's author figures, I advance a model of authorship that highlights issues of gender and multiplicity; in this way my work has applications to other authors who have been excluded by normative definitions of authorship. The concept of "mutable authorship," a model that more accurately incorporates Alcott's treatment of authorship, is the product of several different literary, historical, and feminist theoretical lenses. This dissertation works through the different structuring figures that Alcott uses to represent the author, beginning with the semi-autobiographical first-person narrator and moving to the more metaphorical figures of the artist and the performer. The discussion culminates with the exploration of adaptation and collaboration in the three Hollywood feature films of Alcott's best-known work, Little Women, and several recent texts that respond directly to Alcott's work.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectauthorshipen_US
dc.subjectLouisa May Alcotten_US
dc.subjectmutableen_US
dc.subjectwomenen_US
dc.subjectEnglishen_US
dc.subjectAlcotten_US
dc.subjectAmerican womenen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorTemple, Judy Nolteen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDryden, Edgar A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHurh, J. Paulen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZwinger, Lyndaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTemple, Judy Nolteen_US
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